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Collection

An image of Ba' (baby carrier) by
Alternate image of Ba' (baby carrier) by

Kalimantan, Indonesia

Title
Ba' (baby carrier)
Place of origin
KalimantanIndonesia
Cultural origin
Dayak
Year
20th century
Media categories
Weaving, Textile
Materials used
fibre, wood, cotton, beads, bone, shell and other material
Dimensions

27.0 x 45.0 x 20.0 cm (irreg.)

Credit
Gift of Peter Court and family in memory of Dee Court 2008
Accession number
421.2008
Location
Not on display
Further information

Like modern baby backpacks, the Dayak, or indigenous communities of Borneo, carry their infants in richly decorated ba’. The carriers are made of fibre, plaited and woven like a basket, and have a wooden base to hold the child. The cowrie shells on the ba’ symbolise fertility. Tiger claws, teeth, boar tusk, bells and other charms on the carrier protect the baby from harmful spirits. Regarded as a particularly auspicious colour, the blue beads on the ba’ bring about happiness and wellbeing.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, December 2008.